Donald Trump said this week that a “top” Chicago police officer told him crime could be eradicated from the city with “tough police tactics,” but the Chicago Police Department is denying any such conversation ever took place with senior officers.
“No one in the senior command at CPD has ever met with Donald Trump or a member of his campaign,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday.
Trump recounted his alleged encounter with senior police officials in an interview with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly on Monday, saying police told him they could stop the “horror show” of violent crime in the Windy City “if they were given the authority to do it.”
“I mean, I could tell you this very long and quite boring story but when I was in Chicago, I got to meet a couple of very top police,” Trump recalled. “I said, ‘How do you stop this? How do you stop this? If you were put in charge,’ to a specific person, ‘Do you think you could stop it?’ He said, ‘Mr. Trump, I would be able to stop it in one week.’ And I believed him 100 percent.”
The Republican nominee said that because he was “not the mayor of Chicago” he didn’t ask the officer for specific details, but noted that he recommended the officer for some kind of promotion.
“I sent his name in and I said, ‘you probably should hire this guy because you have nothing to lose,'” Trump said. “Look at what’s going on in Chicago, it’s horrible. This guy felt totally confident that he could stop it in a very short period of time.”
Guglielmi, the police spokesman, told the Tribune that Trump has never met with the department’s deputy superintendents, district commanders, chiefs of patrol or chiefs of detectives.
Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said that the real estate mogul never specifically mentioned that the police officers were in senior command. Instead, she told the Tribune, he meant that the “top” officers were “capable, smart and talented.”
Chicago police have accused Trump of falsely attributing information to them before. After a planned rally at the University of Illinois at Chicago was canceled in March because of mass protests, Trump said he spoke to law enforcement about safety risks before deciding to cancel the event. Police released a statement denying that a conversation took place.